BMW R20 Concept Announced at Concorso d'Eleganza Villa d'Este

BMW has revealed its latest concept model, the R20, a ‘Big Boxer Roadster’ with the heart of the R18

BMW R20 concept

Just a month after we reported on the social media teaser image posted by the company’s CEO, BMW has officially revealed its latest concept, the BMW R20. A ‘Big Boxer Roadster’ utilising the engine of the R18.

While the bike looks like it uses a version of the engine found in the R18, the two powerplants are definitely not the same. In R18 trim the motor comprises 1,800cc although for the R20 it gets stretched to 2,000cc and features new cylinder head covers, belt covers and oil cooler. The final element of the engine is a straight-through exhaust system tipped with ginormous megaphone tailpipes. Confirmed specs for the model aren’t known, although, given the bike’s more aggressive roadster styling and sportier appearance, we’d assume it’ll be a step up on the R18’s 90bhp. 

It’s not just the styling that is more aggressive for the R20 concept, the chassis also gains much more aggressive geometry, with a 62.5-degree steering head angle (the R18 has a 57.3-degree item) and a 1,550mm wheelbase, a whopping 181mm less than the 1,731mm measurement of the R18. It also gains much sportier suspension, with Öhlins supplying fully adjustable Blackline components to work at both ends of the bike. The brakes are equally chunky, with custom braking component manufacturer ISR providing a radially-mounted six-piston (yes you read that right!) caliper at the front, and a four-piston item at the rear. Wheel sizes on the bike are 17 inches at both ends with a 120-section front and a much more modern-looking 200-section hoop at the rear.

The styling of the bike blends modern and retro, with elements of both the highly successful R NineT with BMW’s R18 cruiser platform. The fuel tank is evocative of the brand's 1970s machines, while the extensive use of CNC machined parts and anodised components does give the bike a striking and purposeful silhouette.

Now, to temper excitement, this is just a concept bike and not BMW unveiling its next full production model. It is though a taste of what is to come from the R18 platform which, let’s face it, hasn’t been the hugest of successes when it comes to sales. Having spent many millions of Euros on developing the biggest boxer twin-cylinder in the company’s history, the fruits of this project will be looking to repay that design and development work.